My body is the hospital. But remember a hospital is a building, and a building cannot stand without support beams underneath.
I have been posting for weeks about the peril rural hospitals are finding themselves in. I have tried to spread the word of the urgency to do something to stop this trend. On August 15, the Department of Health and Human Services released a report that when and if it is implemented will destroy the future of hundreds of communities throughout our land. The plan is to eradicate individual state determinations on which smaller, rural hospitals are “necessary” providers” by overriding the state decisions with complete federal control. file:///C:/Users/tom.jensen/Downloads/NRHAtalkingpointsforHHSCAHreport.pdf
- 70% of rural hospitals could lose their designation and face closure.
- 50% could lose their designation because they are located “too close” to another facility. In some cases both will close.
This is what “rationed care” looks like and the target is our seniors.
These facilities are critical to our seniors and vital to the local economies. Having grown up in Iowa it is heartbreaking to walk through the streets of my hometown which was once a happy busy place to be on a Saturday morning. It is now a ghost town. The only thing left is a Casey’s, Dollar General and a couple of local pubs. But we host the county hospital, at least for now.
Critical Access Hospitals create approximately 138,000 jobs. The average facility creates 107 jobs and generates $4.8 million in annual payroll. When the hospitals close, the physicians, nurses and pharmacists will have no choice but to abandon these towns.
This is an issue, but only if we as a community make it one.
by Bridget Allyson
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